Former NFL player had severe CTE when he killed six

A coroner says an autopsy shows unusually severe brain disease in both frontal lobes of the former NFL player accused of fatally shooting six people in Rock Hill, South Carolina, before killing himself in April. 

The twenty years ex-football pro Phillip Adams spent playing football "definitely gave rise" to a diagnosis of stage 2 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, said Dr. Ann McKee, who examined Adams' brain. 

Authorities have said that on April 7, Adams killed Rock Hill physician Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara; two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and two HVAC technicians working at the Lesslie home, James Lewis and Robert Shook, both 38. 

Police later found Adams with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The degenerative disease known as CTE is linked to head trauma and concussions and has been shown to cause a range of symptoms, including violent mood swings and memory loss. 

FOX 26 spoke with Dr. James McDeavitt, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and Executive Vice President and Dean of Clinical Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine about CTE. Asking if this new information about Adams sheds some light on his state of mind the time of the shooting. 

The Adams family said in a prepared statement that they were not surprised by the results but were shocked to learn how severe his condition was. 

"After going through medical records from his football career, we do know that he was desperately seeking help from the NFL but was denied all claims due to his inability to remember things and to handle seemingly simple tasks, such as traveling hours away to see doctors and going through extensive evaluations," their statement said.